News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Will AOC Guest on RuPaul’s Drag Race?

Photograph by Evy Mages

About Washingtonian Today

Washingtonian Today is not just another political news roundup. Instead, this daily morning brief provides local context on national news, catches you up on what’s happening at Washingtonian, points you toward super duper awesome things to do around town, and lets you in on some special events going on in-house. Sign up here to receive Washingtonian Today in your inbox every morning.

Day 18 of the shutdown. Even the postcards have been updated to show our sad, panda-less reality.

Do you accept this rose? Speaking of “reality”: ABC’s The Bachelor, the best television show to air Monday nights, has returned. Before you think, Wait, Brittany, what does that have to do with us?—little birdies tell me that a group date may be taking place in Virginia this year. It’s common for local officials to show up and join in hokey and cringe-inducing “challenges,” like last year, when Ralph Northam staged a fake political debate for The Bachelorette.

Lawmaking is a drag: And the television doesn’t stop there. US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‏ has referenced VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race multiple times on her Twitter, even when talking about policy. Did you catch her latest reference to current contestant Monique Hart’s famous catchphrase “facts are facts, America” when discussing the need to fact-check politicians? (Side note: Be careful what you wish for.) It appears the love runs in the other direction as well. Just last week, host RuPaul Charles wrote a Twitter prayer to “AOC.” Does this mean AOC may guest-star next season? It wouldn’t be the first time a prominent Democratic graced the main stage. Last March, Nancy Pelosi sashayed her way into a brief cameo on Drag Race All Stars, causing much commotion from queens and fans alike.

Happy Tuesday. I’m Brittany Shepherd, the contestant who’s not here to make friendsEmail me for or follow me on Twitter. Sign up for this newsletter here.

But does he even lift, bro? Joe Biden’s brother wants you to know—for no particular reason at all—that his brother is sprightly and into weight lifting now.

ICYMI: &pizza and Au Bon Pain are coming to the Capitol. What would be your ideal fast casual food chain to find in the basement hallways of Cannon? We all know mine: TGI Fridays, where every hour is happy hour.

BONUS: White House security guards were playing Robyn’s absolute bop “Honey” in the booth yesterday. I like to pretend that curating an upbeat playlist may bring a little joy to the stressful reality that is this long government shutdown. Fingers crossed Ariana Grande is next.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

  • Washington’s got hip new lawmakers again. But does that mean DC’s got its groove back? Was it ever gone in the first place?
  • You don’t have to schlep all the way to Georgetown to get delish veggie tacos. Chaia opens a new Mt. Vernon Triangle location today.
  • This 29-year-old house looks more modern than half the yo-pro apartments I’ve ever seen.
  • Relatability politics is nothing new. “Grabbing a beer” has always been a strong metric for candidate likability. But during a time when every part of the language is being flash-fried for the internet, is likability enough? Brad Jenkins, Obama admin and Funny or Die DC alum, says not exactly.

Our pick for things to do around town:

MUSIC Signature Theatre pays tribute to singer/actress Judy Garland’s four-decade career with its cabaret Judy Garland: A Star Is Born, a reference to the first remake of the film that was recently remade again with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga (Garland’s 1954 remake also starred James Mason). Hear several Signature stars highlight Garland’s biggest hits– such as “Over the Rainbow” and “The Man That Got Away”– in this cabaret tribute. Through January 26. $38.

Good reads:

You need to read about Glitch, the Loch Ness Monster of the Pentagon complex. (Washington Post Magazine)

Big events from Washingtonian

You’re engaged?! Celebrate with us at Love Unveiled, the ultimate wedding showcase for all couples on January 27 at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC. Visit for tickets before it sells out!

Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.